Large crowds from Galilee, the Decapolis, Jerusalem, Judea and the region across the Jordan followed him. Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them. He said: “Blessed . . .”
The Sermon on the Mount is Jesus’ inaugural address. In this sermon, recorded in Matthew 5-7, He announced the principles that would govern those who follow Him. Jesus contrasted His kingdom of grace with the legalism of the religious leaders who were concerned about outward acts. Jesus was concerned with the attitude and intention of one’s heart.
The sermon began with eight beatitudes (Latin for “perfect happiness”). Each started with the word “blessed.” We will consider the Beatitudes over the next days, but first let’s understand what it means to be “blessed.”
The word “blessed” means much more than being happy. Happiness often depends on conditions. Living blessed is experiencing deep spiritual joy that is grounded in a relationship with Jesus. Being blessed is the assurance that you live with God’s strength and under His protection. Being blessed is to be the privileged recipient of divine favor. Challenges will come and go, but the follower of Jesus is blessed through times of success and times of failure.
Lord Jesus, thank You for giving me a life that is blessed. Thank You that Your blessing is deeper than any challenge or circumstance. Take me to that place of deep joy regardless of my life’s situation. In Your name. Amen.
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